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Red Alert - Soccer Clubs In Crisis
It isn't always smooth sailing as these clubs have found out. Here are teams that are in dire conditions and need change now. This post will be updated as conditions change for the better and worse.
Heart Of Midlothian - Scottish Premier League
The Issue: Heart Of Midlothian filed for administration on June 17th, 2013, with debts of over 25 million pounds.
Urgency: The Scottish Football Association imposed a 15 point penalty on Hearts, putting them at -15 points before the season even started. 8 games into the season, they are now a -7 points. Their financial situation is no better however, with Hearts still in administration and still searching for a buyer. 7/10
How To Fix It - There's no straight-forward answer here, since I can't magically conjure a buyer. The best possible situation would be to sell the club to the supporter-run Foundation of Hearts, which is a group that the Hearts' supporters groups formed in order to launch a takeover bid. It has the backing of Supporters Direct Scotland and Parliament Member Ian Murray. Their biggest opponent appears to be a group of Norwegian businessmen who are close to re-submitting a bid after their first one was rejected. The buying price of the club is rumored to be around 500k-2M.
The administrators should make an effort to sell the club to the Foundation of Hearts, as clubs in this situation have often found themselves in worse spots after selling to shady groups. Foundation of Hearts are the only group that have fully revealed themselves during this process, and the club will be better off in the hands of the supporters than anyone else's.
Coventry City - Sky Bet League One
The Issue: The supporters are in constant disputes with the club's owners, with their most recent dispute over the decision to have the team play their home games at Northampton's Sixfields Stadium, a 30 minute drive away from Coventry. These disputes started with previous owners refusing to pay the rent at the Ricoh Arena, sending the club into Administration.
Urgency: The disputes between the supporters and owners are ongoing, and it doesn't seem like they will stop anytime soon. In the meantime, Coventry are averaging an attendance of 2,026 people through 4 games, currently worst in League One. 10/10
How To Fix It: The best thing that current owners Otium Entertainment Group can do is bring Coventry City back to Coventry. Forcing Coventry fans to travel to Northampton to see their 'home' games is disgraceful. Whether the games are played at the Ricoh Arena or another stadium in the Coventry area, it will bring the supporters back and help the club move on. The owners of the Ricoh Arena have offered several times to go back to the negotiating table to find a proper rent, and it's time for the owners to do so. If the Otium Entertainment Group refuses to move the team back to Coventry, they should at least offer to let the fans purchase the club. They are Coventry City, not Northampton City.
Chivas USA - Major League Soccer
The Issue: This is a team in disarray. The owners attempted to attract the local Latino population by selling all of the club's non-latino players, most of which left a ridiculously low prices. This backfired, and the club is the worst in the league in both record and attendance.
Urgency: Chivas are now the laughingstock in the league, although their problems are no laughing matter. The fans are coming to the games, and rumors are starting to swirl that Chivas' spot in the league is in jeopardy. 8/10
How To Fix It: Major League Soccer must get Chivas back on track. So far, the league hasn't put the pressure on Chivas to put some effort into improving their condition. Chivas has a USL team rather than a MLS team, and if they don't step it up, Major League Soccer should issue a warning. Chivas is bringing the league down, but their situation is fixable. Their owners need to invest great un players of all ethnicities during the next transfer window, as the 'Latino Revolution' was a failure. Chivas misses out on bringing top quality to their team because of this rule, and it stops people who would normally come to a Chivas game from going if they feel they aren't represented.